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Best Local Cuisine in Oaxaca

, 12 Options Found

The restaurant at Casa Oaxaca specializes in "nouvelle Mexican cuisine." The restaurant features two elegant dining spaces, a covered patio as well as the indoor dining room. Fresh and inventive dishes include roast meats, stuffed squash blossoms as well as a select number of the traditional Oaxacan moles.

One of the "splurge" restaurants of the city, Los Danzantes is named for the famous carved monoliths discovered at the nearby Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban. Go all out on dinner, or try the changing set lunch menu in the atrium, where the sky is mirrored into the reflecting pool. The food offered here is a modern kind of twist on traditional Oaxacan food, taking traditional and seasonal ingredients and using them in creative ways.

The Mercado 20 de Noviembre is full of all kinds of food stands. Here you can find all different varieties of bread from simple rolls to colorfully decorated sweet breads. The main draw here, however, are the comedores or food stands, which cook and serve up all kinds of Mexican and Oaxacan specialties. Try tortas, tamales, tacos, sopas, ensaladas and any other kind of traditional foods you can think of. Take this opportunity to try chapulines, or fried grasshoppers with chile. Legend says trying them will ensure you return to Oaxaca one day.

One of the most popular restaurants in the area, Pitiona is the place to be when seeking a scrumptious, Mexican meal. Upscale and sophisticated, expect nothing short of a highly relaxed, enjoyable experience from this marvelous restaurant. A team of highly experienced chefs work tirelessly to plan and perfect dishes that bring out the true essence of Mexican cuisine. Feast on an array of delectable Mexican meat preparations or opt for the popular wraps, that are certain to leave a imprint itself onto your memory. To complement your meal choose from a selection of exquisite wines and beers.

Travelers looking for the less-trodden path will love La Teca, which began as a cooking project in a single room of the chef and owner’s home and has expanded to her backyard. Located in an unpretentious residential neighborhood, the restaurant offers simple home-cooked specialties from the Oaxacan peninsula, such as tamales and garnachas, molotes de platano, and black mole. Old timers say that the restaurant used to seat visitors in the garage and welcome them with a cup of mescal. While the garage seating still exists, La Teca has become more of an established restaurant, with lovely outdoor seating and a small but dedicated wait staff.

Mezquite is the one of those places where you walk in expecting to have a great time and seldom walk out disappointed. The captivating interiors, replete with dim lighting, warm colors and elegantly upholstered furniture create an ambiance that's ideal for a laid-back meal with your friends and family. Largely consisting of traditional Mexican dishes, the menu never fails to fascinate with its scrumptious tacos, flautas, tostadas, quesadillas and pozole. Be sure to dress smart and keep an eye out for the daily specials and discounts when you visit this remarkable restaurant.

El Milenario is a small restaurant located in Santa Maria del Tule, 12 kilometers from Oaxaca City. This restaurant sits very close to the famed ancient cypress tree, so you can stop in for a bite to eat after you're done visiting the tree. El Milenario is a nice and clean, friendly little place where you can dine on traditional Oaxacan dishes such as Oaxacan tamales, Estofado de Pollo, squash blossom empanadas and traditional Oaxacan ice cream flavors like tuna (prickly pear) and leche quemado (burnt milk). At El Milenario, guests can feast their eyes and their stomachs in the tranquility of this charming little town.

La Biznaga, located just a very short walk from the Zocalo and Santo Domingo, is considered one of the best restaurants in the city by both locals and tourists alike. The bar features gourmet, specialty drinks, and are especially known for their mojitos. Rather than individual menus, the food offerings are posted on large chalkboards hanging on the walls. No matter what you order, your meal is sure to be a delightful mixture of traditional Oaxacan cuisine and ingredients, mixed with modern techniques and flavor combinations, a most delightful marriage in Oaxaca's culinary scene. Although most of the time the restaurante is al fresco, the roof is convertable, so you will be able to enjoy La Biznaga's offerings rain or shine.

La Olla is a charming little cafe serving regional specialties like cactus tacos. La Olla is one of the most popular restaurants in the city, and also runs a very popular cooking school. Located in the historic center, just blocks from the Templo de Santo Domingo, La Olla displays quality cuisine from across the state as well as displaying art from local artists.

A unique restaurant offering a selection of exquisite dishes made with native maize (corn) from regions of Oaxaca, Itanoni is the place the head for fantastic tortillas. Made by hand and roasted the traditional way, the tortillas are cooked to a crispy perfection on mud griddles. Choose from an exciting menu that features delicious quesadillas, chilaquiles, tamales, barbacoa, chicharron, tetelas and memelas. Inexpensive prices add the cherry on the cake.

La Casa de la Abuela, located upstairs in the northwest corner of the Zócalo, serves up traditional regional specialties in a bright, airy atmosphere. Try the tasajo (salted beef), cecina (chile marinated pork), squash blossom soup, or the quesadillas, which they call empanadas. Also at La Casa de la Abuela, diners can sample all seven moles of Oaxaca.

This late night eatery is a favorite among locals, serving up a traditional Oaxacan dish, Tlayudas. The tlayuda consists of a giant tortilla, placed over coals, with Oaxacan style beans, quesillo (Oaxacan string cheese), salsa and very few meat choices, the most popular being the salted beef tasajo. As one of the few places that stays open extra late, there is usually quite a crowd, so be prepared to get your food and take it elsewhere.

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